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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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SEC commissioner-elect lectured at Texas A&M Wednesday

SEC commissioner-elect Greg Sankey held a lecture at the Distinguished Lecture Series for the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M on Wednesday.

Sankey was invited by the department to speak at the Lecture series last fall, before Sankey realized that he was going to be the guy to replace Mike Slive as the new SEC commissioner. Sankey spoke about this transition in his opening remarks.

“When I agreed to speak, it was last fall before any of this was in front of me,” Sankey said. “It’s an honor to be at [Texas A&M University] today as the next commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.”

Sankey titled his presentation “Finding Our Way Forward in the Modern Era of Intercollegiate Athletics.” He began the lecture with admitting that he’s coming from a different perspective from most of his colleagues and introduced a bit of humor describing his ascension to becoming the next commissioner.

“If I had a sharpie, I would just have the title, ‘Finding my way forward,’” Sankey said. “I’m often asked, ‘How do you go from where you started to becoming the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference?’ I assure you, if I had easy answers to that question, I would write them in a book and sell them for $50.”

Sankey’s employment took him to many places across the country before landing in the SEC. He began his career after an undergraduate degree from Cortland College in New York as the director of Intramural Sports in 1987. He then moved on to be the Assistant Commissioner for Compliance of the Southland Conference in 1992 and became the commissioner of the Southland Conference in 1996 at the young age of 31.

Sankey established the important truth about intercollegiate athletics and the details that are involved with it.

“Athletics is highly regulated,” Sankey said. “It has a rulebook that exceeds 400 pages. There are thousands of interpretations that fly out of that rulebook and the rules seem to be based on a print society while the rest of society seems to be based in the post-internet age.”

In closing, Sankey addressed the importance of continuing to improve the fan experience in the SEC and tied it with A&M.
“[Texas A&M] is building a stadium that will be a wonderful place to watch games on future Saturdays,” Sankey said. “We are constantly discussing a way to meet the expectations of our fans both today and into the future.”

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